Posted 12:33 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 4, 2024
Applications open in January for student fellowship opportunities
UWL students have the opportunity to expand their learning experience beyond the classroom – and get paid for it.
The 2024-25 Community Engaged and UWL Foundation Philanthropy Fellowship committees will begin accepting applications Jan. 29, 2024. The fellowship initiative awards a $12,000 stipend to selected students while they gain experience transferring their classroom knowledge into real-world scenarios. Five fellowships are available to those who apply: three Community Engaged Fellowships and two Foundation Philanthropy Fellowships, all with a start date in June 2024 and ending in May 2025.
Two local nonprofit agencies, WisCorps and the La Crosse Community Foundation (LCF), partner with UWL on the Community Engaged Fellowships to provide hands-on, mentored internships that serve as a unique addition to traditional classroom experiences.
UWL senior Paige Hagemann, a Political Science major, was selected for a 2023-24 Community Engaged Fellowship with the LCF. Hagemann says she took the position with little to no knowledge of what a community foundation does and what true philanthropy looks like.
“The knowledge I've gained on the La Crosse community, non-profits, and overall technical work has been invaluable,” Hagemann says. “I can confidently say this has been the best experience I’ve had during my time at UWL.”
Hagemann went on to share that while the opportunity was intimidating, she quickly learned the ropes with the support of LCF staff.
Foundation Philanthropy Fellowships work with the UWL Alumni & Friends Foundation. Students can expect an experiential learning opportunity with the potential to take on independent projects. UWL sophomore Marlee Simpson is currently in her second year as a Foundation Philanthropy Fellow.
“Working at the Foundation has given me many new experiences,” explains Simpson. “The projects I enjoy the most are impact reports. It is a special thank-you to donors that summarizes their entire history with UWL and also includes student thank-you notes.”
“It’s incredible to meet with donors and see how much they care for this campus and for its students,” adds Simpson.
Ron Rada, emeritus professor at UWL, and his wife Jane Rada, longtime La Crosse educator, along with UWL alum Mike McGinley and his wife, Kathi, fund the fellowships.
The Radas, who launched the program, say they established the fellowships to capitalize on the strengths of UWL and organizations in the region.
Matthew Brantner, executive director of WisCorps and a UWL alum, has expressed the positive impact the partnership with UWL has had on his organization. Brantner says, “Having these fellowships allows us to build our departments and intentionally give those students skills that will help them in the next step of their careers.”
Students from any field of study are eligible to apply. Applications will be accepted beginning in January.
Click here for the Community Engaged Fellowship application.
Click here for the Foundation Philanthropy Fellowship application.